Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Kit Carson Papers, 1847-1885
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Kit Carson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1847-1885
    Collection Number: BANC MSS P-E 64
    Origination: Carson, Kit, 1809-1868
    Extent: Number of containers: 3 boxes and one oversize folder Number of microfilm reels: 3
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, accounts and papers mainly as agent for the Ute Indians in New Mexico, 1854-1861. Some Thomas Oliver Boggs papers relating to Carson's estate included.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Kit Carson Papers, BANC MSS P-E 64, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    This collection of papers, acquired by H. H. Bancroft from Thomas Oliver Boggs, relates mainly to Carson's office as Indian Agent, containing correspondence, accounts, land bounty claims, bonds of Indian traders, some miscellaneous personal Papers, commissions and census records for the Pueblo of San Gerónimo de Taos, 1856. A few papers from Thomas Oliver Boggs relate to Carson's estate, and some miscellaneous items pertaining to Boggs are also included.


    Christopher Carson, trapper, guide, Indian agent, soldier, was born in Kentucky in 1809 and soon emigrated with his family to Missouri. When 17 he joined a hunting expedition and for eight years lived as a trapper, ranging as far as California in 1829. He later was appointed hunter for Bent's Fort. When returning from a visit to his family he met John C. Frémont who hired him as guide for his explorations. Since Carson know many of the Indian tribes, their languages and their territories he proved invaluable to Frémont, actively participating in the conquest of California and in the battles for the recovery of Los Angeles. In 1847 Carson went to Washington, bearing dispatches. In 1853 he drove 6,500 sheep over the mountains into California. Upon his return he was appointed Indian Agent at Taos in New Mexico. As agent he was instrumental in bringing about treaties between the United States and the Indians. With the advent of the Civil War Carson aided in organizing the first New Mexican Volunteer Infantry and took part in the battle of Valverde in 1862. In 1865 he was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers. He died in 1868.